After 2K Games’ Mafia 3 announcement trailer at gamescom 2015, fans of the mob-inspired series responded to the news with both surprise and excitement, anticipating extra details regarding the upcoming sequel to be shared in the coming weeks. As it happens, gamers got a taste of the mob-laden title’s action with some actual gameplay footage just a couple of days later that showed off the vibrancy of New Orleans in the late 60s, as well as a brief bit of gunplay, car chases, and explosion physics.
While many would consider there to be a lot of thematic and technical overlaps when it comes to open-world titles like the Mafia franchise, Strauss Zelnick – CEO of Take-Two Interactive, which owns both the developers Rockstar Games and 2K Games – would argue otherwise. As a matter of fact, during an earnings call today, Zelnick was asked if Mafia 3 could be considered a game in the vein of Rockstar’s open world oeuvre, to which the executive responded with a definitive no, saying the forthcoming installment in the organized crime-inspired series is “completely different experience”.
Further elaborating on the issue, Zelnick goes on to say:
“I wouldn’t compare it to anything else out there. The reveal [last week at gamescom] was great, but it stands alone. We don’t use any other game in the same sentence as Grand Theft Auto. It is the industry’s standard-bearer. It’s not up for comparison.”
Although it’s understandable that Zelnick wishes to establish boundaries between his company’s products, Take-Two’s CEO could do worse when likening Mafia 3 to other titles, especially since Grand Theft Auto 5 has become a titanic success with sales reaching 54 million moved units since 2013. However, the executive continued the conference call by confirming that his organization’s main developers in Rockstar Games and 2K Games do not use shared technology.
Regarding the business acumen of the development firms, Zelnick says:
“We’re blessed that we have two distinct labels at this company. We do not have a tech-sharing environment. We’re a very congenial company, but we don’t think that’s the best way to get the best out of our development folks. It’s not the way it works around here.”
Bearing all of this in mind, it seems as if Take-Two Interactive’s head is a tad flustered by the suggestion of Mafia 3 and Grand Theft Auto 5 having shared elements, which shouldn’t even be considered a bad thing. While it’s important for individual video games to retain their own style and flair, it’s flat-out impossible for intellectual properties to be wholly unique, especially in this day and age, as practically everything under the sun is derivative of a previous idea. Regardless, with Mafia 3 still being in the nascent stages of development, we would all do well to reserve judgment until the final edition is available.
What’s your opinion about Take-Two Interactive’s CEO saying Mafia 3 is nothing like Grand Theft Auto 5? Do you think that Strauss Zelnick is simply blowing smoke, and trying to hide the game’s lack of originality?
Mafia 3 is being anticipated for release some time toward the latter half of 2016 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.